Fiction India Short Story Top

In the Lap of Chail – 4


Here are chapters 1, 2 and 3

Kaisha entered her room after having the evening tea with Beeji. She could smell the scent of chir pine from the furniture that adorned the room. She had stepped into this place the first time in her life but she could not feel any eccentricity there. She opened the giant French window and was enthralled to see the spellbinding view.

The window overlooked the Sutlej valley and everything looked snow covered under it. Kaisha lay down on the bed and unexpectedly it felt very familiar to her own bed back home in Delhi. It had a similar milky bedspread with purple bougainvillea on it and similar pillows that were large in size and soft as fur. She felt she was at home again amidst the serenity of her room. The salubrious air and the scintillating scenery engulfed her to the world of peaceful and carefree sleep.

An hour later she could feel the balminess of the evening lights in her room and heard a quivering voice calling out, “Kaisha! Dinner is ready.” Beeji had walked all the way to her room to wake her up for dinner. Kaisha opened her eyes and saw Beeji making an effort to sit on the mammoth chair. “I will help you Beeji” said Kaisha and quickly came out of the coziness of her bed. “I can do it beta. Just lend me your hand”, said Beeji as she stationed herself on the chair. Bindiya came along and arranged the table for dinner in Kaisha’s room.

“Beeji it’s eight in the evening. You eat dinner this early?” asked Kaisha. “It’s good to have an early dinner for old people like me. Moreover it has been ages since I shared a meal with someone. So I was eager to eat” replied Beeji. Kaisha smiled and asked, “Do you mind if I eat later? I am not used to early supper and I am not hungry yet.” “It’s perfectly alright Kashu beta. I am used to this” said Beeji dejectedly and began to rise. Kaisha felt a strange guiltiness. She held Beeji’s hand and curbing her from rising she said,

“You can still have your dinner here Beeji. It will be a nice change from the dining area. What do you say?” asked Kaisha. Beeji settled down and smiled. “Yes the view is amazing from this room. You can even see Kasauli and Shimla from here in the night”, she added. “Do you know that Chail was built by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala?” she began narrating the story of Chail while she ate.

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